Mum's love leads to baby's horrendous cold sore infection
This was originally published on The Herald
A mother who regularly kissed her newborn on the lips infected him with herpes and his entire body became covered in cold sores.
The three-month-old boy was rushed to a local clinic before concerned doctors transferred him to the Zhejiang Provincial People's Hospital in Hangzhou, capital of East China's Zhejiang Province.
The baby's entire body was covered in blisters and cold sores, Doctor Zhu Haiqiao said, adding that the boy was also running a high fever because of the infection that went untreated for days.
"The three-month-old's body and especially his face and head were red and covered in sores," the medic said.
"It was painful to look at," he added.
At first medics thought he had a skin condition but later determined it to be an infection of herpes simplex virus 1 - or HSV-1.
While HSV-1 - which causes cold sores - is generally harmless in adults, it can be very dangerous to newborns who have vulnerable immune systems, wrote the Daily Mail.
Cold sores are highly contagious and can spread through saliva, skin-to-skin contact or by touching an object that someone infected with the virus touched, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Doctor Zhu said he believes the boy contracted the illness from his mother, who regularly kissed him on the lips out of affection, inadvertently passing on the virus to the still developing child.
The dangers of the herpes virus to infants include septicemia and organ damage, Zhu noted, saying it could in some cases prove fatal.
Fortunately, the hospital was able to treat the herpes in time, and the boy has since been discharged following a brief stay at the facility.